The Shambhala Lineage Festival also marked the beginning of our new Shambhala Chant Book. For many years, we have heard from our Centres that there has been a need for an accessible approach to chanting. This means a balance between maintaining our tradition of chanting, while also opening up to an increasingly large and diverse audience of students. Many students come expecting simple meditation, and not too much ritual. The Shambhala Chant Book is the result of the Sakyong’s efforts to establish an approach to daily chants that expresses the vision of our tradition in a skillful and accessible way.
The Shambhala Chant Book is for sangha-wide use and is the most basic and simple chant book. It reflects Shambhala vision, which emphasizes the significance of basic goodness, enlightened society, and the Shambhala teachings for this time. The selection of chants is in direct response to the supplications that have been made to the Sakyong, asking for daily chants with language and imagery that are more accessible to greater numbers of people. Also, the new chant book decreases the number of chants for morning and evening practice sessions.
The additional chants that we are familiar with will be introduced systematically as students move through the path, and learn more about our lineage histories, protector principle, emptiness, devotion etc. These deeper chants are contained in the Warrior Chant Book, presented at Warrior Assembly, and the Collected Vajra Liturgies, formally introduced at Vajrayana Seminary, but available to individuals attending weekthüns and dathüns. These various chant books are available to centres to draw upon for selected programs and centre events, as appropriate. We are not making any changes to our Werma Sadhana chants, or chants for feasts.